Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging motorists not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs as government restrictions are eased this weekend.
From Saturday 4 July many restaurants, pubs and bars will be reopening after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With many members of the public looking forward to meeting up with family and friends for a social drink or two, Cheshire’s emergency services are reminding residents of the tragic consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While it may be tempting to have a drink and then drive home – it is important to remember that even one alcoholic drink can significantly affect a motorist’s ability to react to their surroundings.
Road safety enforcement and education is being stepped up throughout the summer months, as both emergency services have a common goal – to make Cheshire’s safe for everyone.
Cheshire Police’s Head of Roads and Crime Unit, Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, said: “Many people will be looking forward to pubs, restaurants and bars reopening so they can finally go out and celebrate all those occasions missed during lockdown and have fun with their family and friends.
“We absolutely want everyone to have a great time this summer, but it is so important that road users understand the seriousness of their actions and that the consequences can be fatal.
“One knock on your loved ones door from one of our specialist officers can bring your family’s world crashing down. No one wants to hear the news their loved one is not coming home because they took the risk and drove after having a drink, or taking drugs.
“We do not go out policing the roads for the sake of it – we are doing it to save lives. Six people have sadly lost their lives on our roads this month, and we want to do all we can to stop anymore from occurring.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Manager Andy Gray said: “As a Service we spend a considerable amount of time educating road users on the dangers of drink/drug driving. We explain the consequences which one reckless decision on our roads can have – and now, more than ever, road users need to take note.
“Firefighters are called to the scene of collisions and do their best to rescue casualties from sometimes, quite harrowing situations. They do a great job, but sometimes it is just too late, and too many lives are lost on the county’s roads as a result of something preventable.
"Road users can play their part in reducing the strain on the NHS by using our roads carefully and sensibly.
“If you are planning on having a drink, leave your car at home. Plan your journey home before you go out, chose a designated driver who stays on the soft drinks and doesn’t take drugs, or pre-book a taxi so you can get home safely. It’s not worth dying for.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, added:
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, added: “Making Cheshire’s roads safer has always been one of my top priorities and I am pleased that officers will be out making sure that road users can enjoy the summer in safety.
“The summer can be a fantastic time to enjoy BBQs in the sun, spend time in beer gardens, or have a drink or two with family and friends. But I want to make sure that everyone gets back home safely to their loved ones. The consequences of drink and drug driving are clear: not only would you put your own life at risk, but also the lives of other innocent road users.”